tv Charlie Rose WHUT June 4, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EDT
>> i was a good physics institute. and i only had physics for a few minutes in high school. but was really galvanized by it. and now we're at a point in our development as humans where we have literally step off the planet. we're back at columbus times. the world really isn't flat. and we can really go, we can travel around it. it's pretty of the same, we are the same threshold, i think in space. >> rose: we conclude this evening with an appreciation of dennis hopper. >> i'm getting where i can now really, i'm going to do some really good work. and that's the most important thing. but i was an early bloomer and i'm a late one, you know. >> rose: that's the best,.
>> absolutely. no, i cannot argue with of where i am. i am a very fortunate person. >> rose: morgan freeman and remembering dennis hopper coming up. >> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the coca-cola company. supporting this program since 2002. >> additional funding for charlie rose was also provided by these funders: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services world i would captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> pore began freeman is here after starting his career in theatre, became a major motion picture star in the 1980s. he has been nominated for five academy awards. winning for his performance
in clint eastwood's million dollar baby. he's also a prolific narrator. over the years his voice has told many stories. his most recent project as a science channel miniseries it is called through the wormhole. i'm pleased to have morgan freeman back at this table. welcome. >> thank you so much, charlie. >> rose: all right. first of all, you got an honorary degree from brown university. >> the president-- from ruth simons. >> rose: i love ruth simmons. >> you know her. >> rose: very well. >> but everybody got there, their diploma, their certificate and she came in before we went out. and she said i got bad news for you. i said what? >> rose: we decided done --. >> she said i want to you say something, i want to you say a few words. >> rose: oh. >> so i thought you didn't have to-- . >> rose: well, i want to you tell that story about your-- because when i was in school i went to acting school and didn't do well. >> rose: oh, that's great. so you told the story. >> yeah. >> rose: what's the story? >> well, the story is that i
took acting 101 and acting 102 and i took voice diction and voice development, dance movement and a french class. and i aced everything but acting. >> rose: well did well in french but not in acting. why was that. somebody looked at you and said to talent? >> no, the-- . >> rose: you just didn't do your homework. >> the approach to acting is never set well with me. and i was sort of a-- oddball in class. this was in 1959 in los angeles. >> rose: oddball? >> oddball. >> rose: meaning. >> the only black person in class and i was very aware of it. >> rose: but did you know you had the right stuff then? >> yeah, i knew it, yeah. i mean because hi been acting since i was in grade school. >> rose: yeah. >> getting high marks for it,
so that's why i was always there. >> rose: so suppose a very bright young man or woman with a good education, let's say studied french literature comes to you and says you know, i did a little bit of acting in college. i love it. it's what i want to do. and i want to go to business school, i don't want to go to law school, or be an engineer. i want to be an actor. you say to them -- >> be an actor. >> rose: be an actor. that's exactly right. >> i have people sometimes have come up and say you know, my son is 13, 14. and he wants to be an actor but you know, i tell him-- them they should get a degree in something before, so that they don't make it, they have something to fall back on. if they have something to fall back on the fall back position is the one they are going to be in.
>> rose: the other thing they love is for people who say they want to be a writer rather than saying i want to write. >> or i am a writer. i tell them right away, you say you want to act, you are an actor. >> you know, you can tell something about an artist or an artisan by the way they handle their instruments. to a watch to a watchmaker. notice that, how they-- . >> rose: i remember the chess player, won the world champions chess players brought in a board and you could just watch his hands. almost like there was something going on between the chess pieces in his hands. you could feel the magic of the weight. >> yeah, yeah, we have that. there is you, charlie. >> rose: what? >> you have the same quality. you sit at this table and you talk to people. and you have such authority, such quiet authority. you're so great. >> rose: well, thank you. now tell me about science, thank you very much, coming from you.
science, this is-- man this is all about what? ness. >> the physics of the cosmos. >> rose: how did you get to do-- what lead to you do this? >> i have always been a reader. i started reading-- a library card at age 8. and in that reading, over the span of time a lot of it was science fiction, science fantasy, science fact. i was fascinated by-- i was a good physics institute. and i only had physics for a few minutes in high school. but was really galvanized by it. and now we are at a point in our development as humans where we have literally stepped off the planet. we're back at columbus times. the world really isn't flat.
and we can really go, we can travel around it. it's pretty of the same. we are the same threshold, i think, in space. you know, we have a probe that is way out past the limit its of the solar system. we are out there. >> rose: we are listening and we're also sending. >> we are listening and sending and it's talking to us. we are actually camped near the planet saturn watching things develop. so all of this is happening right now and the fascinating thing is okay, so what, what's in the future. what can we do? and my answer to that is we can do anything we decide to do. interesting about the human mind is anything we think of, anything we think of we will
eventually do. >> stephen: . >> rose: somebody once said if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. >> exactly. if we can imagine it, we can achieve it. so let's talk for one minute about space travel. well, the differences are really too great. the nearest stars are like 8 what lightwaves, the alpha sentori. 8 light-years, that means you have to attain the speed of light in order to make it there in 8 years. but einstein says no. space time is like fabric. it can actually be manipulated. you can bend it so that you can go from here to here in
space time in that amount of time. so. >> rose: so space travel, time travel. >> time travel. >> rose: is an idea that's real. >> it's an idea that is actually real but it requires an enormous, an enormous amount of energy so we have to figure out how we're going to do that, where the energy is going to come from. >> rose: now they say it will mostly be traveling ahead or back, what are they saying. >> you can do it both ways. >> rose: wow. >> now we think because light coming here, we see light from billions of miles away now. we have a kevlar probe, a satellite up there watching. because we're looking for planet its now. so we have this very light sensitive probe up there looking. so we are looking at light that's coming from billions of miles away. light-years, billions of light-years away.
meaning that when we see it, it's ancient, right? >> rose: so these are the kind of things you explore on this series. >> these are the kind of questions we ask and discuss. >> rose: and you start with the one which is the big one, is there a creator. >> yeah, yeah. >> rose: now how do you do that? >> you know, it's a question that has been extent since galileo. and galileo posits that the earth is not the center of the universe, well, if the earth is not the center of the universe it sort of goes against what we consider as god's law, you know, god created heavens and earth, blah, blah, blah. scientists say well, that can't-- we can't accept that not really in any kind of
literal sense because we know that the universal is a lot older than that. so the question for us as human beings is there one. if there is one, who, what is it. and a lot of different scientists and physicists have very concrete ideas about what it could be. one interestingly enough is that the whole thing is a giant, we're all in a giant computer. and we're just pixels being manipulated. that's, i mean, a sound mind. >> stephen: most of the scientists i know don't believe in -- >> in the metaphysical. >> rose: god. >> god. >> rose: there may be-- there is something in terms of a spirit or there is something in terms-- but they don't believe and they accept the fact that the only way you can, that is because they're scientists
and if you can't prove it they say -- >> you can't accept it, right. >> pirro: . >> rose: people like francis colin who is in your piece, i think, say something different. which is i'm a scientist. i believe because of fate and i look at the reality of it and say -- >> yeah, some of those same scientists look out there and they say there is too much order for it to be just random. >> couldn't have just happened. >> rose: there is also the big bang theory and then there is the-- . >> superglider. >> rose: on the border of switzerland and france. and they have been building this thing. and it's interesting, we have done a whole show about this. >> uh-huh. >> rose: on this program. but it will take us back in time to right, the moment after the big bang. >> a split second after the big bang. >> rose: and what will we learn from that? >> interestingly enough, we'll learn that there is such a thing as met a fisks. that is quantum mechanics.
that-- and these supercolliders you watch matter actually appear from nowhere and disappear into mo where. -- nowhere. >> rose: this is you talking about it in this series. >> in the cooler but no less scenic city of geneva, switzerland research evers are peering through the most advanced microscope in history, the lhc or large hedron collider. they're throwing everything they can at the finding the particle that is supposed to give everything mass. but they should also be able to detect some of those new particles predicted by gary-- if they do exist, the exceptionally simple theory of everything could finally offer a blueprint of the entire universe. this dizzying geometry might
also be divine geometry. a unified mass that created you, me, the sun, the stars, everything in the known universe. >> rose: we're watching this and we hear the words, theory of everything, which used to be an obsession of stephen hawking. he is in new york. >> a world science festival. >> rose: and he they are doing a big thing with the symphony by philip glass and others. >> yeah. >> rose: and you met him. >> he was in the dining room. we were having breakfast. and i asked if i could just come over and say hey. he came over to me. >> rose: of course we. >> yeah. and we had a brief encounter. >> rose: he's amazing. >> he is amazing. >> rose: because you've talked to him, you have to prepare the questions because of the difficulty of -- >> i talked to him but i cannot read-- he can write, you know, he has a very clever system with the-- .
>> rose: he controls it with his face. >> yeah, but i just lay out things to him. and so he said that he would love to talk with me later at some point, you know. because i said i'm going to have questions. >> rose: yeah, he's amazing. he is really amazing. generally his daughter is with him. and -- >> nicky. >> rose: i have forgotten. we went to cambridge to meet him. >> extraordinary. you really love this stuff. i mean you really, i mean i didn't know coming into this how much preparation you had done. in terms of curiosity about science, you know, rather than simply understanding what you were going to do. but you are invested in this. i mean you are engaged by this. you are interested in this. >> i'm interested. i'm engaged. you know, you have your own questions. and they're legitimate questions. so you can ask them. somebody asked me on the internet, i was doing an
interview just awhile ago at npr, do you-- are you a-- i don't know how she put it but she wanted to know if i had a faith, you know. i said oh, yes. everybody has a faith in something, you know. and mine runs deep. i won't tell them what it's in, what it's about. >> rose: why not. >> i'm very arrogant. >> rose: well, just tell >> i believe in me. >> rose: yeah. >> that's not arrogant. >> i think it's arrogant. people go do you believe in god. >> i go absolutely. >> rose: and i'm god. >> and i'm god, in the best sense of the word. >> rose: that's what you believe. >> that's what i believe. >> rose: that i am responsible for my life. >> yes, yes, yes. i can't lay it off on anybody but-- . >> rose: but that responsibility is shaped by a whole range of things that have come to you over a lifetime. >> absolutely. >> rose: as to what it is that you believe is quality,
what you believe is the act of a good person, what you believe is your obligation, responsibility, duty, citizenship, you know, parent. >> yeah, all-- what is said by everyone is that god is in everything. certainly in all of us. so well, if it is, then how do you separate yourself. >> rose: now how many of these, ten of these? the creator, one about -- >> what are the other questions you ask. >> is there a creator? is time-- is space travel possible? >> rose: the answer o to that is yes. when we have the energy we'll show you. >> right. what is dark matter. >> rose: particle physics. >> yeah. we try to explain cuan quantum mechanics. >> rose: that's not easy. >> that's not easy. really deep, deep questions. >> rose: and this is going to be a two year project.
>> right now it's two years. >> rose: at least two years. >> at least two years. >> rose: because there are so many questions ask you can ask. these are the kind of things that people are fascinated about. >> and you can go back and revisit because we are learn stuff so quickly, so fast. >> rose: so you went out with filmmakers and they talked to the best people in the world on all these particular subjects. >> exactly, yeah. >> rose: that's great. >> everybody who has an idea or thought process. >> rose: tell us about the title. >> "through the wormhole" somebody came up with that theory that there are places in space where you can sort of enter another dimension, exactly what they really mean is you can travel through space time. you just go through a wormhole and you're there. sort of like blinking. >> rose: you know i am fascinated about this is the late michael cryton. he loved these kind of things. >> he did. and i think he might have been one of those who came
up about the idea of the wormhole. >> rose: oh s that right. >> don't quote me. >> rose: i know, but it is the kind of thing-- i mean michael was just amazing. the only thing i never could come to grips with is how he did not accept climate change at all. >> i'm concerned about the question of global warming. >> rose: yeah. >> we are involved in this instance of it. but warming and cooling has happened over millennia to the earth. we had an ice age what happened when it melted. why did it melt. >> rose: my scientist friends will tell you that, you know, they look at the polar ice cap now and they see it melting and they can see where there is, you know, dramatic differences. >> yeah. >> rose: on the other hand, you know --
>> well, i don't-- i'm not one to question the danger of what is going on right now because we're so involved in the speed of it, the depth i guess is the word i'm looking for. >> rose: the great pore began freeman. thank you for joining us. we'll be right back. >> rose: dennis hopper, a man of many talents, actor, photographer and art collector died on saturday of complications from prostate cancer. dennis hopper was 74 years old. his paranoid and manic characters helped define the 1960s counterculture. in 196 -- he wrote and directed the seminal film "easy rider" in which he also starred as a motorcycle riding hip ster. easy rider cemented his status as a risk-taker and a rebel. his unscreened excentricitys often mirrored conflicts in his own personal life. during the 1970s his
struggles with alcoholism and addiction often threatened to derail his career. but his bad boy reputation masked tremendous crass and ambition. he became sober in the 1980s and he turned into one of the most successful character actors in hollywood. he played villains in david lynch's blue vel set and in the 1993 blockbuster speed. hopper also exsell at pursuits beyond the movies. as we noted photography that he did was shown around the world and is collected in a book called "1712 north crescent heights" with a terrific eye for modern art he amassed a multimillion dollar collection by artists such as andy warhol and julian snobel. 's priored on my program three timesed. and here's a look of some of those appearances. >> you and i share at least two things. one, i loved "easy rider" and the other thing is that we both lived part-time in north carolina. you in wilmington and i have a little farm in oxford.
>> i didn't know that. >> rose: yeah. >> i didn't know that you were there. oh, that's terrific. >> rose: how in the world did dennis hopper, actor, world traveler end up in my home state? >> wow. well, first of all i didn't put that together until just now. okay, well wilmington, you know, is the largest producer of films in the united states, second only to los angeles. they make more films in will am ton than they do in new york. >> rose: is that right. >> yeah, they made over 80 movies in the last four years. >> rose: and you went there to make a movie. >> i made three movies there. my first movie i made there was blue velvet, david lynch's movie and then i made supermario brothers, way was down there for 17 weeks. that's when i got in trouble and had a lot of time off and bought a building. i bought an old masonic temple, five stories high. it was going to be torn down and i bought it for $150,000 dollars. >> rose: and spent 150 million -- >> oh, yeah. i spent a million dollars just getting the pigeons out
and getting the roof fixed. >> rose: is this the place that you are going to teach acting. >> i would like to have an acting school there, yeah. >> rose: why do you want to do that? >> well, i just, you know, i-- straussberg was a great teacher and i feel that-- i just want to teach method, straussbergien acting. sense memory and emotional memory. it is a little payback. >> rose: did dean turn on to method acting? >> well, actually, we all saw brando, dean saw brando, i saw brando,. >> rose: dean was in love with brando. >> oh, yeah. >> rose: trying to copy him, living in his-- but you. >> well, i mean i was in love with brando too. we all were. then at 18 i was doing giant with, i was doing world without a cause and then "giant" with dean and watching him work. and i realized i had come out of a very stiff kind of formal background of playing shakespeare. by the time i was 13 to 18 i had played shakespeare at the gold globe these never
san diego. so when i saw dean and rebel without a cause, i mean, what he was doing was certainly not on the written page. i was doing great line readings and i was doing, you know, had memorized my gestures. everything a was doing was preconceived even though it looked very natural. between was-- dean was doing things in improvising things and just creating things that had nothing to do with the written page. and at this wanted to know what he was doing. and how i could find out. >> rose: did his death, i mean were you close enough so that when he died in that car crash that it had an impact on you. >> oh, yeah, well, we were am the middle-- we hadn't finished "giant" yet, i was still working on it he had finally-- at the gyning of "giant" he took his money from "giant", 17,000 dollars and bought a porsche spider. but stevens wouldn't let him drive it during the shooting. so we were two weeks before finishing shooting and he had a race and he wanted to
be in. and stevens said okay, you can go ahead and do it. so jimmy went up to race and got to racing his new porsche in this race and he was killed on the way to the race. in an accident, i mean they have done all these things about suicide and intentions and so on. he just got hit by a guy who didn't stop at a stop sign is basically it. and he had been speeding 125 miles an hour before but he's only going 70 miles an hour when the accident actually happened. so it was a tragedy. and we were all shooting. i mean elizabeth taylor cried so much it took two weeks before we could even get a shot. every time she came on the soundstage she would start crying and have to be medicated and taken off. so it was a tragedy to all of us. just an incredible, incredible tragedy, i mean 24 years old this young genius an he was that. >> rose: he was a genius. >> oh, yeah, he was amazing. in res ro-- retrospect, he
was the greatest acker i have ever seen work. >> rose: the greatest acker you have ever seen. >> ever seen. i mean when you think of "giant" here's a 24-year-old playing a 60-year-old man, going from a 17-year-old to a 65-year-old man in a movie. i means that a an incredible range. and so different a personality, he was playing than what he actually was. you know, he was amazing. so it was a great raj dee and a great loss to everyone. >> rose: did you then decide to come to new york and try to understand what it was that he had gotten out of that new york training that made him as good as he was. >> yeah, i told him that i was going to go to new york and study with straussberg. and he said you shouldn't do that. let me help you a little but you don't need to go back there. he will destroy you. you are too sensitive, he'll destroy you. and so the second that he died i, my teacher was gone and i went back to study with straussberg and it was an incredible experience. but he used to say things to me like all you got to do is
do things and not show them. and i say what does that mean, do things and don't show them. he said well, you know, if you are drinking coffee, just, you know, don't act drinking coffee, just drink, drink. and if you are smoking a cigarette, don't act smoking a cigarette, smoke the cigarette. and he said these things will be very difficult at first when are you on stage or when are you in a movie because you will be self-conscious about them. but once you get past that, you start doing things and living in the moment so are you not presupposing what is going to happen when the door opens, you go answer the door, then you see the guy has a gun. and go from there, on a moment to moment reality basis. so that was fine. but then i went back to study with straussberg. so his untimely death brought me back here. >> rose: and you want to teach what you have learned not just from straussberg but teach the method and to-- and somehow -- >> but i mean teach straussberg's method which is different than stella
adler's method and sandy myner's method. they were the three people who went and actually met withstandslavski. >> rose: who was what a russian, polish. >> he was russian, moscow art theatre. and he wrote an actor prepares this very thick book that you can read and read and read and read and tells you everything you don't want to know and do want to know about acting. but both stella adler and sandy myner and straussberg came back with three different points of view about what it was to really create a real character and have a veal inner life. and myner's thing was like you're like a child. play like with your imagination. like kids playing in a lot bang, bang you're dead. no, you missed me, oh i am, you shot me, i'm an indian, i'm a cowboy, i want to be-- have that kind of improvization and that kind of belief, childlike belief and that will bring you into having a real experience and having real emotion. which is certainly part of acting. but that was myner's basic approach, stellar adler said
it's all coming from the object. she was brando's teacher. she said it is all coming from the object. by using the object you will free yourself to like, you know, your senses will work and you can have real emotions. if you notice brando very off sen working with objects. he constantly has an object of some kind that he's dealing with. and straussberg said it's all your senses. your smell, your taste, your seeing, your having and your touch. those are the things that will connect and through doing sense memory you can have a real emotional emotional memory. and standist laughski said one thing there is was a game he and his brother could never win at. and that game was standing in the corner for five minutes and not thinking of a white bear. the second you get in the corner you think i'm here not to think of a quite bear and the game's over. you can't win at it. so that is what an actor, to have a real emotion on stage or in a movie, one must not think about what it is.
>> rose: would you rather, does dennis hopper act because he wants to make a bunch of money so he can go about becoming the great director he wants to be? >> no. >> rose: he doesn't. >> no. i act because i love acting. >> rose: okay. all right. but do you love acting more than you love directing? >> well, that's-- . >> rose: you can't say. >> i can't really, i can't really make-- i mean they're really totally two different jobs. an actor is a-- i ask jack nicholson, i said jack, isn't acting a lot easier than directing. and he said not really. i said well you sure get a lot more time in the dressing room. i he said yeah, but you're always wondering when they are going to call out of the dressing room so it is just two different jobs. the director has the full responsibility of the show, you know. he really does. >> rose: it's control and decisions. >> and he's also there every second. i mean it is a never ending process and it's usually a couple years or at least a
year of his time. whereas you come in as an actor, you are on the film the duration of the shooting of the film. not the preproduction and the post production of the film which a director is involved in. so it is a totally different world. but i love both. and it's much harder for me to get a job as a director than it is for me to get a job as an actor. i can work all the time as an actor. >> rose: why is that? >> well, it's-- . >> rose: because now you have created this box office appeal, especially as a villain. >> yeah, yeah. so that's easier for me to get jobs as an actor. as a director-- . >> rose: that is the way hollywood is, it goes on what it just saw. >> just saw. and are you as good as your last movie is still appropriate, you know, unfortunately. so my last movie as a director was not a successful film. >> rose: your last movie as an actor was brilliant. >> was a big, big movie. >> rose: let me take you back again where we left off you go to new york and you study with lee straussberg and then you go back to
hollywood. >> uh-huh. >> rose: take me from there to "easy rider" >> wow. >> rose: 1969. >> okay. i come-- well, actually, you see, i get in a lot of trouble after dean dies in los angeles. >> rose: because? >> well, because dean blocked his own scenes and now suddenly i think that i got to block my own scenes, you know. and he didn't take direction like he gave direction. i figured i got to do the same. so like you know, i'm in a lot of trouble because i'm not a star. i'm not in any position to tell people who are like old school moms who are telling it you every line redding, every gesture suddenly that i'm to the doing that way. >> rose: you are talking about movies you made after "giant" >> yeah, after "giant" >> rose: because you weren't telling how to tell george stevens how to block a scene. >> no, no, no, no,. well, even then i was fudging a little bit. but no, but he-- but anyway i got into thisment and i really got in so much trouble i couldn't even work. so i came to new york not
in-- not able to work in the industry in los angeles any more. i was really only able to work in television. so and on the stage. so i came here to study. and then after i studied here i went back to los angeles and actually john wayne and henry hathaway who hi got nen trouble with-- hathaway before rehired me because i had married brook. >> rose: brook hayward. >> and we had a daughter. and henry hathaway said-- duke and i, john wayne, think that you should start working now because you married a nice irish woman's daughter, margaret sullivan's daughter and you have a daughter of your own and we think we ought to put you back to work. so i went back to work on the sons of kateie elder after eight years of being out of the pictures. >> rose: and you behaved yourself. >> i did what he said. i did the line readings and i did the gestures and i did what i told me which i refused to do eight years before. and i said you know, he came up crying with a cigar, oh,
kid, that was great, that was great. you see, henry i'm a much better actor now than 8 years. he said are you not a better actor kid, you're just smarter, you're just smarter so that was the way i went back into it. and then finally peter fonda and i got together and decided that we were working on these cheap motorcycle movies at aic, jack nicholson was there too doing hell's angels on wheels. >> rose: who was it foreman. >> roger korman was doing wild-- de the wild angels with peter fonda. i did one called the glory stompers. and jack nicholson did one called he'll angels on wheels. and we were doing these motorcycle movies for drive-in theatres. and so peter and i decided that we would never-- he knew i wanted to direct. he wanted to produce. and the one thing we swore we would never do a motorcycle movie of so of course we end up doing easy rider. but that was in the change of-- change of my really-- my life. >> rose: did brook introduce to you peter or was that --
>> i met peter and jane at brook and my wedding whic which-- well, willland and pamela. >> rose: pam elan har iman. >> yes, right, who is now the-- ambassador to paris. they came to the wedding but refused to give us a wedding reception. and so they were only-- there was god, mangoowitz, there were like about six of us at the wedding. and jane and peter were there. and so they were very embarrassed because willland and pamela just left us there. and so jane said well why don't we have a little something at myhouse. she had an apartment in new york. so we went to her place. and that's where peter and i became friends. >> rose: have you written a book putting all this together. >> no. >> rose: i mean every publisher must want to you do this. >> they have offered me. >> rose: you will do it later but -- >> i don't want to-- i'm not ready to do it yet. >> rose: okay.
did you have any notion that "easy rider "would be what it became? >> well, i mean directing, writing and acting in your first movie, okay, you think it's going to be the greatest thing in the world and you're going to win-- i thought i was going kin the cannes filmfest, break all the banks. >> rose: and you were going change hollywood. >> change hollywood and do all those things. and strangely enough everything but winning the first top prize at cannes. i won best new director. lindsay anderson won for if, he won the grand prize. but everything else, it did change people's minds about fills in hollywood, independent films started to be able to be made. and it made a lot of none. and it was a wonderful, wonderful experience. >> why didn't you then go direct another great movie? >> well, i did. but i made the film that i had written before peter and hi gotten together with stuart stern who wrote rebel without a cause and the ugly
american called the last movie. and i went down to peru and shot it down there for universal pictures it. and then brought it back and won the venice film festival and then they didn't understand it. and they didn't like it they said unless i reedited it they weren't going to distribute it, really. so i said well i'm not reediting it. and they did, they said they would release it for two weeks in new york, two weeks in los angeles, 3 days in san francisco that would be the ends of their commitment and i said this is impossible. they're not going to really do that i went on national television and said-- they said they were going to do this. and of course that is what they did. another one of those stories. that was sort of the end of my directing career for years. i mean i didn't direct another movie for another 8 years. and i didn't really come back until i got sober. and i have now 1 years of sobriety. >> rose: how did you get sober. >> i-- i bottomed out in a horrendous, like, you know, i went off to make a movie called-- they finally hired me to do something in mexico
called jungle fever which i never, never shot one day on. but i was to play the head of dea in mexico. an i decided that i was being set up and was going to be obviously killed down there because why in the hell would anybody give me a part as the head of the dea, you know. so at that point i went on one of my major benders and ended up stripping down naked and having hallucinations in the middle of the jungle in mexico and seeing snakes and, which i probably was seeing, you know, for all i know. and walking down the main highway naked, you know, and being arrested and put in various jails until some stuntmen found me and finally got me on an airplane back to los angeles to be hospitalized with. whereupon i walked out on the wing of the airplane as it was taking off in mexico city thinking i was being filmed by francis ford cop olo and vin bender who hi
seen on the airplane which were not on the airplane, hello. i was in bad shape, so-- . >> rose: how did you come out of it. >> i was in --. >> rose: hospitalization. >> then i was hospitalized when i got back to the states and i was three, four months. >> rose: clearly what are you is a survive, and two as someone once said to me they could never take your talent away from you. >> being such a stupid guy and such a drug addict and alcoholic, i obviously, it took a little more than a big club to drop me down and make me, humble me enough to realize that i could never do those things again. and i have no desire, my life is so wonderful. i am having such a good time. and. >> rose: i want to get to that. blue velvet, david lynch is making the film. the story goes, you pick up the phone and you call him up. and you say i'm frank. and it's not so much that i am frank but i've been there where frank's been and i have seen all of the franks in the world s that right. >> yeah, absolutely. >> rose: and he said what? >> he said we had never met, you know.
and he is already shooting. so he goes back to like the table, he was in wilmington, north carolina. goes back and he's having lunch with issabela and kyle mclaugh lan and laura dern. he said i just got off the phone with dennis hopper and he told me you did the right thing, david, by casting me as frank because i am frank. he said that's great news, isn't it, for the part. but how are we going have lunch with him, you know. which is very-- and a true story. how are we going to have lunch with him. what are we going to do. frank's coming. oh, boy. >> rose: the thing about what did you with the gas what was -- >> oh, well-- . >> rose: they told to you act like -- >> no, no, he had helium, you know, which makes you sound like donald duck it doesn't do anything. it doesn't disorient you. just makes you talk like this. so he had it on the set and i was trying to use it. and i just, you know, i would go and sound like
donald duck. i said you know, david, when i read this i thought this gas would be sort of more like an amal nitrate or nitrous oxide or something. he said what's that. because he's really a boy scout, david lynch, he really is he used to say now this word here when you say that word, okay that word being the f word, you know, when you say that word, well, he wrote the script. david, do you know what it says or not. but so anyway. and he would say things when you did a take right he would go peachy keen, solid gold, you know, oakey dokey, yeah. right. so anyway, i said the boy scout leader said what is that. and i said well, look at me. and i will show you what an amal nitric or nitrous oxide would like like it disorients your mind for a minute or two and give you this rush. sow looked and said that's wonderful, wonderful, do that. then if you want to dub the voice in later we can put that weird voice in but right now now i'm thinking about the voice and can't
act through it he said go ahead and do what you were doing. so i thought that was a great contribution to in film which he had written and was directing. until i thought within day, i got alone and thought you know something f i would have played this part the way david lynch had originally intended it by just having my voice go, baby-- you know, i thought what a weird guy, frank would have been even weirder than i thought, you know. so i don't know, you know. >> rose: but it turned everything around for you, didn't it in. >> oh, yeah, that and then i did hasier. i went from north carolina to indianapolis. >> rose: you and gene hackman. >> did hasiers rights back-to-back, never even came back to los angeles, back-to-back, changed costumes and i was playing the shooter in the hasiers. and i got nominated for that. and then i did a thing called river's edge when i got back to l.a. all three of them black to back. and they were such different performances and suddenly i was back on track and i got a nomination for hasiers.
>> rose: and what was the next big step. all of a sudden now there have been a series. >> well, sean penn coming to me with" colors "to direct. which i-- which i kiam in to o ryne and told him-- i came into o ryne and said anybody who makes this movie is a fool. this is a bad television show. nobody wants to make this as a movie. but at that time it was about, it was the gangs in chicago, selling cough syrup and these cops come in and make this big supercough syrup bust before, this cough sir is up spread all across the united states. i went what are you talking about here, you know. and so thats was colors. and i said well how could you make it better. i said make it about los angeles, make about real gangs, you know, deal with the stuff, real drugs and stuff that is really go on. and they said are there gangs in los angeles. i swear to god. in los angeles, are there
gangs, i said yeah, they're in my alley, just look out the window. >> rose: when you look at this wonderful sort of both the highs and the lows and all that you have said here for the last almost an hour telling me about, what is the story of dennis hopper's life. i mean what is it that, when you sit here today it's the best of times for you. >> yeah, it is. but you know, i tell you very honestly, charlie, i don't feel i have done it yet. i don't feel i really have ever directed a great part or a great movie. and i just feel that i am getting myself into a position where i may have the opportunity. i know this. >> go ahead. >> but that's the way i feel about it. it is really honestly the way i feel about it. i don't feel i have done it yet. i don't feel i have ever really had the great role. and i don't feel i have ever really been in the great movie, the great-- i mean i look at anthony hopkins and i look at remains of the day. and i go, where is that part,
you know where is a movie like this that i could do. you know, why am i never, ever see, even see these kinds of scripts, or they ever even come close to me. but i'm not-- anthony hopkins is doing part after part after part. i'm very envious. and god, help harvey keitel. harvey keitel is doing wonderful work. i'm not saying that i'm to the doing wonderful work and i'm not saying-- i think" speed "is terrific, you know. and i love it. and-- did a sensational job directing this movie. and it set a new kind of genre for action films. but there is no back story to my character. there is no back story to any of the characters in that movie it is not like in line of fire where you know more about mall could very much's character than my character. my character is just there to push the action on. and it is wonderful. and i love the movie and i love to see it and i love to
watch this movie over and over and over, it's so exciting. but the great role, i don't feel i've ever really had. and the great, and the kind of films that i want to direct at a the studios say they are too arc da, or too this, or i don't think they're commercial. so i feel that i'm still at a place where, you know, i look at woody allen. and the real filmmaker to me is a filmmaker who writes his own thing, the author of his own, he's awetour, he writes his stuff and does it and i did that with easy rider and with the last movie but, but after that, i was like not allowed to really do any of the projects that i wrote and coy never define anything for them. so i feel, i feel a little uneasy about that. i feel like mi just not really, not really, i haven't really finished the work. >> rose: but you feel ready to do it. >> oh, yeah, trod do it.
>> rose: are you 58, years old. you feel like that the muscles are strong and the brain and everything is ready to do it. >> yeah. >> rose: do you think you'll get it? do you think you do. >> yeah, absolutely. i got to think that. >> rose: water, it wouldn't be worth it hanging around. you could just act but are you so motivated to be-- . >> i want to do it. and like you know, it's funny because i am at a place now where the success of something means something important to me so that's another, you know, it's not that i am, yeah, it is just, listen, if my life went on the way it is right now i couldn't complain. >> rose: yeah, exactly. >> but i just feel-- and that's a good thing to feel, that you have still got to do it you still have got to prove it. >> rose: i'm thinking about your dream and your passion and what you want to do. it's not like you have 9 project that you want to do. i mean you're looking for either as an actor or director the great role as
an actor. somebody's got to bring that to you. you probably are going to have to create it yourself, probably, maybe, maybe not. >> do you have it in hand. i mean is it there. is it in any form that you could communicate it to what you most want to do? i mean is it a film that's in your head. is there a script in your desk, is there -- >> there's a lot of things. coy put it on a simple level. so that you know, there is a lot of things that have happened in my life at various times that i feel have not come up on the big screen, you know. >> rose: i enjoy head this he inn mously. it's been an hour and it's been a great conversation for me. and i will see new wilmington. >> i hope that's true. >> rose: look at this, folks. this is elle magazine. this is elle, the summer, that is an exclusive it says on the cover. dennis hopper shoots nadia armond. she -- >> she is a german model.
>> rose: yeah. and guess who dennis hopper shot this for, america. guess who is the fashion editor. >> fashion director of "elle" magazine. my daughter. brook hayward and mine. >> rose: and this is -- >> this is o magazine, she just hired me to go to mexico. >> rose: these are pretty good fiefs. do you think so. >> i think they're hot. by the way t this is the may issue. i mean my daughter just handed me this, so this is a little early to be seeing this but go ahead. >> rose: too late now. >> it's too late now. go for it. it a good issue. >> rose: look at this. i don't know much about d-- but there is terrific stuff. >> yeah lz. >> rose: i like the color, i like the. >> let me see the next page. >> rose: there you go. >> that's pretty nice. and then there is one more on the next page. >> rose: did you have any help here, somebody helping you with the lighting and all that stuff. >> look at that, diva, i
love that. that was natural light right there. but this is all on the street. but hi assistants, yeah, i had all those people. >> rose: do you want to do this again z this whet your -- >> yeah this is incredible. i love this. i'm going to do it again. >> rose: are you writing anything, beatty is right. he called you up after your interview with me. and i said-- he said what. >> he said you know, are you-- i said on this show i'm not really ready to be honest enough to right my biography, blah, blah, blah. and he called me up and he said you know, are you ready to write your autobiography. >> rose: you see that makes beatty interesting, not because he watchs this program but because he cares enough about a friend to say, to invest some, a phone call into say you are right, you ought to do this, it's time. you know what would be the perfect show? are you charged with doing this. >> oh, boy, yes. >> rose: you, jack and nick and warren. >> i know t would be great.
>> rose: why can't we do that? >> because they are tv shy. they don't-- if you notice they don't go out and plug things on television. jack never has done it. did you imagine the career jack nicholson has had and he has never gone out on television to plug anything. >> rose: just stay with me for a second. when i said you have to be happy with where you are, you probably would have preferred to have done and handled it and arrived at the point nicholson is. >> absolutely. absolutely. or warren, either one of them. because you know why because they're really basically in positions to do whatever they want. and that's a position i was only in for a second. >> rose: but you're getting there more and more. >> well, i'm getting there. i'm getting there. >> rose: i also spent some time with dennis hopper for 60 minutes ii r0 file. here is an excerpt from those conversations. >> how bad was the alcohol and all the stuff. >> the alcohol was awful. i was a terrible alcoholic.
-- used to ask how much drugs i did. i said only do drugs so i can drink more, ha, ha, ha. i was doing the coke so i could drink more. i mean i don't know any other reason. i was just-- i would drink, i started drinking in the morning. i would drink all day long. >> rose: by 1969 it was the perfect time for a hopper comeback. >> we had gone through its 60s and we never heard any rock music in movies. we had never seen hippies, really. we had never seen anybody smoke marijuana without going out and killing a bunch of nurses. we had gone through the whole 60s and hollywood hadn't addressed it at all. through the whole '60s. you know, it just takes somebody without wants to show the time that he lives in. >> rose: somebody who knows the world around them. >> that is what i wanted to show-and-tell which is what i tried to do. >> rose: did you blow it after easy rider? i probably di. >> i'm going to now make the
movie that i wanted to make as my first movie which is called the last movie. >> rose: amountly titled, the last movie was hopper's avant-garde taste on both the american, western and the movie industry. it's few previews were so poorly received that universal studios refused to release the film. the biggest mistake of your life was making the last movie. >> making the last movie and moving to taos, new next co. >> rose: and getting out of the mainstream. >> and to the being here to protect myself or defend myself against anybody that wanted to say whatever they wanted to say. i couldn't get financing. i couldn't get in an office. i couldn't get in to see anybody. >> rose: would they take your phone call. >> they wouldn't take anything, man. >> rose: his marriage to socialite brook hayward collapsed. hopper then married singer michelle philips of the mamas and papa. that union lasted 8 days. hopper said the first seven were pretty good. philips suggested hopper consider suicide. finally he was captured
running naked and hysterical in a south american jungle. he was briefly institutionalized. >> so i call a girlfriend from taos, new mexico to pick me up and tell her when i get back to taos that will i will kill myself. because i obviously can't act, make a gesture, i can't do anything. so she freaks out and get piece on a plane and get piece back to los angeles to see my doctor. and that was the beginning of my sobriety. >> rose: do you assess this career -- >> as a failure. i mean i think-- i would, you know. i mean there are moments that i have had some real brilliance, you know. i think there were moments. and sometimes in a career, moments are enough. but i never felt i played the great part. i never felt that i have directed the great movie.